Interview: Shane Parsons of DZ Deathrays

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Glam Adelaide music interviewer, Jonathan Matthews, caught up with Shane Parsons of DZ Deathrays to talk about songwriting, their music video for Like People which featured Murray Cooke of The Wiggles, and about the bands upcoming Australian Tour.

 So the ‘Bloody Lovely’ tour is kicking off on April 26th, are you looking forward to that?

Yeah dude, it’s gonna be awesome. Adelaide’s gonna be awesome.

Have you got any fond memories from Adelaide?

We played at Thebarton theatre a couple of years ago, and it was insane. Also back in the day we played at Rocket Bar and Jive and Uni bar, they were all really good, we had an awesome time. The show at the Gov is sold out, which is amazing!

Tell me about the music video for your song ‘Like People’, which features Murray Cooke of The Wiggles. How did that come about?

We had this farfetched idea of having Murray in the video. We’d seen him around Sydney, he plays in all sorts of bands and stuff. He’s still pretty full on with his music. We just reached out to him and asked. It’s the same with a lot of things that we’ve done, you’ve just got to ask. The worst that can happen is that somebody will say no to you, or you just won’t hear back from them. The guy who directed the video is a friend of the band, he sent the song to Murray and asked if he’d be interested, and he was, so he came and filmed with us. It was full on and we were all pretty spent by the end of it, but the end product was something quite endearing and fun. It was nice to do something different, and it really caught a lot of people’s attention.

Is he going to make an appearance on stage with you guys?

I’m not really sure, I don’t even know if he’s around during the tour. We’ll see what happens. I reckon he could rip a pretty good solo.

What do you think sets this album apart from your other releases?

I think mostly it’s that we went straight down the line with this one. We wanted a really big, bold rock record. We stayed away from too many crazy sound effects, we were more focused on creating something solid. We spent a lot of time crafting the songs, so we were prepared for the studio. We had a few false starts. There were a few songs that were difficult to make work in a studio setting, so we took them home and worked it all out. So yeah, I think for this record we were a bit more relaxed and prepared.

What’s your favourite city to play in Australia?

That’s a tricky one. Brisbane’s gotta be up there, it has a really good ‘home town’ kinda vibe. In saying that, we’ve had some really amazing shows in Adelaide and ’m interested to see how we go in Sydney on this tour, we’ve played some really awesome shows there, but it can be a bit hit and miss… We’re playing at some of our favourite venues on this tour, so I’m curious to see how it all unfolds.

Which states crowds get the most revved up?

All of the shows we play in Australia get pretty crazy. But lately we’ve been playing a lot of places that are a bit out of the way, like Argentina and South Africa, and the crowds there are great. They reminded us a lot of the crowds in Australia, even more so than Europe or the US. Everyone just wants to party and have a good time, it’s great. Australia is our biggest fan base, so the crowds get all riled up.

Do you have any stories of standout moments on tour? Any cool or funny things that have happened over the years?

It always changes. You go from sitting around a lot and doing nothing to playing a stadium with the Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters show was pretty amazing, but I think all of our best memories are from festivals in Australia. We played at Byron Bay for Falls Festival, and it was so incredibly hot. It looked like nobody was there, because everyone was hiding away in a bar or bit of shade trying to keep cool. We were like, this feels weird, there’s nobody here. We were that last band on that stage for the day, we thought everyone had left and forgotten us or something *laughs*. But then we started playing and they all came running for the stage, it was absolutely packed out! It was awesome, those are the types of thing that really get you excited to be a musician. It’s absolute pandemonium, everyone is having a good time.

Back to music videos, how was the production of your film clip for Mess Up?

That was in the first year of the band, very early on. We decided we wanted to make a video and we had this idea that was way too hard to execute. We ended up narrowing it down to just us and two other people. We wanted to keep it cheap and easy, it only really cost a bottle of Jagermeister actually!

What are your biggest musical influences?

They change all the time. I always go back to artists like Credence Clearwater Revival and Bloc Party as well as other bands I grew up listening to over the years, from being in university to making a career out of the band. More recently Beach House has made a big impact on me musically. I really love that band, I take references from them all the time, I think ‘What would they do, how would they play this?’. But yeah, it always changes.

Awesome dude. It’s been great chatting to you!

Interview by Jonathan Matthews

You can catch DZ Deathrays at The Gov on the of fourth of May. Playing alongside Clowns, These New South Whales and Boat Show, It’s a show you won’t want to miss!

 

 

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